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a church in arms, a name struck out from impression, there is a tide of feeling which the community of saints, are in comparison flows through the mind of man, in different as nothing. Ask the criminal at the gallow's degrees of velocity and depth, awakening foot, when chains, and judges, and penitence his imagination, stimulating his energies, and priests, have done their utmost to fortify and supporting him under every intellectual his soul for its last mortal struggle, whether effort. This tide of natural fèeling obtains imagination does not paint the picture of the character of enthusiasm, or power, achis cottage in the wood, with her whose cording to the concomitants with which it prayers he has neglected, fondly watching operates. If connected with great sensibility, for his return, and whether the voices of his and liveliness of imagination, without clear children come not on the wandering gale, perceptions, sound judgment, or habits of as they lift their innocent hands to heaven, deep reasoning, it is with strict propriety and bless their father in their evening hymns. called enthusiasm; and as such works won
Yes; and the stern moralist, who would ders amongst mankind. Indeed we are instrike out imagination from the soul of man, debted to enthusiasm for a great proportion must first extinguish the principle of life. of what is new in theory, and experimental What then remains ? That those who have in practice; as well as for most of the astonthe conduct of the infant mind, should seek to ishing instances of valour, enterprize, and stamp it with a living impress of the loveli- zeal with which the page of history is enlivness of virtue, and the deformity of vice; ened and adorned. But enthusiasm, while and that the passions and affections should it partakes of the nature of power in its first be so disciplined, that imagination, the busy impulse, is essentially different in its operafaculty which must, and will exist, and act, tion. Enthusiasm in action aims at one either for happiness or misery, for good or point of ardent desire, and regards neither evil, may bring home to the hungry soul | time, nor space, nor difficulty, nor absurdity, food fit for the nourishment of an immortal in attaining it; while true mental power, in being, and dispense from out the fulness of strict alliance with the highest faculties a grateful heart, the richest tribute man can of the mind, is the impetus which forces offer at the throne of God.
them into action, so as to accomplish its purpose by the concentrated strength of human intellect directed to an attainable
When this principle is diffused through
the medium of language, it imparts a portion Power, in connexion with the art of writ- of its own nature, commanding conviction, ing poetry, admits of two distinctions as it stimulating ardour, and rousing determined relates to language and to mind. The action; or, bursting upon the poetic soul former, however, is always dependent upon like sunshine through the clouds of morning, and subservient to the latter ; but the power it opens the book of nature, and reveals a of mind may exist where there is little or no new world of light and loveliness, and glory. facility in the use of appropriate words. It creates not only conviction and approval, Were it possible that powerful language but actual sensation; and thrills through could proceed from an imbecile mind, the the awakened feelings, like those tremendous effect would be, that of heaping together manifestations of physical force, which by ponderous words, and incongruous images, the cornbined agency of different elements so as to extend and magnify confusion, produce the most wonderful, and sometimes without rendering any single thought im- the most calamitous results. pressive.
Were it possible that in any human mind, That the force of our ideas must depend its faculties could have a complete and eviin great measure upon the strength of our dent existence and yet lie dormant, we impressions, is as clear, as that the vividness should say of such a mind that power alone of a picture must depend upon the colours was wanting ; but since there must be some in which it is painted; but in addition to power to stimulate the slightest voluntary act, we must speak of this faculty as being not be the case. There must to every indialways present, and existing in a greater or vidual, liable to human weakness and infira less degree. Persons deficient in this fac- mity, be seasons when merely to think ulty and no other, are always content to definitely requires an effort-when desire imitate; and as a proof that they possess fails, and the grasshopper becomes a burthe other requisites for successful exertion, den; but when the poet speaks of the blissthey sometimes imitate with great ability ful moment of inspiration, we suppose it 10 and exactness, while they shrink from the be that in which all his highest faculties are very thought of attempting any thing with in agreeable exercise, at the same time that out a model, from an internal consciousness the operations of mental power are unof inability. That many venture to strike impeded. out into new paths without attaining any Amongst our poets, those who display the thing like excellence, is owing to the want greatest power of mind, are Milton, Pope, of some other mental quality; and that some and Young. Had Young possessed the continue to pursue such paths to their own requisite of taste, he would perhaps have shame, and the annoyance of their fellow rivalled even Milton in power; but such is creatures, arises from their enthusiasm, not his choice of images and words, that by the from their power. Yet while many wander frequent and sudden introduction of heteroon in this eccentric course, without ever geneous and inferior ideas, he nullifies what being aware of their inability to succeed, would otherwise be sublime, and by breakwe believe that no man ever yet voluntarily ing the chain of association, strikes out, as commenced a deliberate undertaking, with it were, the key-stone of the arch. Nor is out some internal evidence of power, where this all. The ponderous magnitude of his it really did exist. A sudden effort is no test, images, heaped together without room for because time is not allowed for the mind to adjustment in the mind, resembles rather examine its own resources; but the man the accumulation of loose masses of uncewho has this evidence, will work out his mented granite, than the majestic mountain, determined way, though all the world should of which each separate portion helps to pronounce him incompetent, and exclaim at constitute a mighty whole. Still we must his absurdity.
acknowledge of this immortal poet, that his It may be asked, if this evidence always path was in the heavens, and that his soul accompanies the possession of power, how was suited to the celestial sphere in which is it that certain individuals have not been it seemed to live and expand as in its native aware of its existence until circumstances element. We can feel no doubt that his have called forth their energies? I answer, own conceptions were magnificent as the it is the test alone which brings this confi- stars amongst which his spirit wandered, dence to light; but even these individuals, and had his mode of conveying these confor any thing which history tells us to the ceptions to the minds of others been equal contrary, may have had in their private to their own original sublimity, he would walk precisely the same sensations on com- have stood pre-eminent amongst our poets mencing any trifling undertaking, as afier- in the region of power. wards accompanied their more public and In order to prove that the poetry of Young splendid career. We are not told with what is too massive and complex in its imagery energy or skill Cincinnatus cultivated his to be within the compass of natural and farm, but we have no proof that he did not ordinary association, it is unnecessary to feel the same consciousness of power in quote many instances. Those who are most conducting his agricultural pursuits, as in familiar with his writings--even his greatest regulating the affairs of the commonwealth admirers, must acknowledge, that in one of Rome. Still it would be absurd to main- line of his works, they often meet with mattain that power always exists in the same ter, which if diffused and poetically enlarged mind in an equal degree. There are physi- upon, would fill pages, better calculated to cal as well as other causes why this should please, as well as to instruct.
" How poor, how rich, how abject, how august,
How is night's sable mantle laboured o'er, How complicate, how wonderful is man!
How richly wrought with attributes divine ! How passing wonder He who made him such!
What wisdom shines! what love! This midnight pomp, Who centr'd in our make such strange extremes ! This gorgeous arch, with golden words inlaid ! From different natures, marvellously mix'd,
Built with divine ambition ! nought to thee: Connexion exquisite of different worlds !
For others this profusion. Thou, apart, Distinguish'd link in being's endless chain !
Above, beyond, O tell me, mighty Mind ! Midway from nothing to the Deity!"
Where art thou ? shall I dive into the deep?
Call to ibe sun, or ask the roaring winds, Thus far the mind may keep pace with
For their Creator ? shall I question loud
The thunder, if in that the Almighty dwells ? the writer, and, especially by the last two Or holds He furious storms in straiten'd reins, lines, must be impressed with ideas at once And bids fierce whirlwinds wheel his rapid car? clear, imaginative, and sublime. Those
“ The nameless He, whose nod is nature's birth; which immediately follow are less happy. And nature's shield, the shadow of his hand;
Her dissolution, his suspended smile! "A beam ethereal, sullied, and absorb'd!
The great Firul-Jast! paviliou'd high he sits Though sullied and dishonour'd, still divine !
In darkness, from excessive splendour, borne, Dim miniature of greatness absolute !
By gods unseen, unless through lustre lost. An heir of glory! a frail child of dust!
His glory, to created glory bright Helpless immortal ! insect infinite !
As that to central horrors : he looks down A worm! n god! I tremble at myself,
On all that soars, and spans immensity." And in myself am lost."
Young's description of truth is also strongOne instance more, and we turn to pas- ly characterized by power. sages of a different character.
“See from her tombs as from an humble shrine, “Lorenzo, blush at terror for a death
Truth, radiani goddess, sallies on my soul, Which gives thee to repose in festive bowers,
And puts delusion's dusky train to flight; Where nectars sparkle, angels minister,
Dispels the mist our sultry passions raise And more than angels share, and raise, and crown, From objects low, terrestrial, and obscene, And eternize, the birth, bloom, bursts of bliss."
And shows the real estimate of things,
Which no man, unalllicted, ever saw, It is really a relief to pass on from this
Pulls off the veil from virtue's rising charms; laborious collection of disjointed ideas, to
Detects temptation in a thousand lies.
Truth bids me look on men as altumn leaves, instances of more perfect sublimity, which And all they bleed for as the summer's dust also abound in the works of the same poet.
Driven by the whirlwind : lighted by her beams,
I widen my horizon, gain new powers, What can exceed in power and beauty his See things invisible, feel things remote, first address to Night?
Am present with futurities; think nought
To man so foreign as the joys possess'd; “Night, sable goddess ! from her ebon throne,
Nought so much his, as those beyond the grave." In rayless majesty now stretches forth Her lenden sceptre o'er a slumb'ring world.
After all, it is not so much in extended Silence how dread! and darkness how profound ! Nor eye nor list'ning ear an object finds;
passages, as in distinct thoughts, and single Creation sleeps. 'Tis as the general pulse
expressions, that we feel and acknowledge or life stood still, and nature made a pause;
the power of this dignified and majestic An awful pause! prophetic of her end."
writer. “ Silence and darkness! solemn Again, his appeal to the Divine Inspirer sisters !" is a striking illustration of how of his solemn thoughts, is full of majesty and great an extent of sublimity may be embopower.
died in a few simple and well chosen words;
and it is unquestionably to beauties of this "Man's Author, End, Restorer, Law, and Judge! Thine, all; day thine, and thine this gloomy night,
description that Young is indebted for his With all her wealth, and all her radiant worlds. high rank amongst our poets. What night eternul, but a frown from thee?
The same faculty of mind is exhibited What heaven's meridian glory, but thy smile ? And shall not praise be thine, not human praise,
under a different character in the writings While heaven's high host in hallelujahs live!
of Pope. Power as an impulse is less apO may I breathe no longer than I breathe
parent here, but in its mode of operation it My soul in praise to Him who gave my soul, And all her infinite of prospect fair,
is more uniform and efficient. Pope is less Cut through the shades of hell, great Love, by thee, an enthusiast than Young, and therefore he O most adorable! most unadorn'd! Where shall that praise begin which ne'er should end !
pays more regard to means; whilst the Where'er I turn, what claim on all applause ! agency by which these means are brought
to bear upon their object seems to be slum- worthy of the genius that unbound the lyre bering in silent pomp. The genius of Young of Homer, and awakened fresh music from
his and sometimes ineffectual effort
even in the But it is in contemplating the nature of dead of night counting the stars, grappling Milton's genius, in its connection with power, with darkness, and grasping at infinity; that we behold at once the full force of a while we imagine that of Pope scated on a stupendous impulse, associated with the
throne of majesty, collecting, combining, and greatest possiblesfacility in the use of the controlling the elements of mind, by author- best means of action. The difference to be ity, rather than by direct force. The power observed in the character of power, as exhiof Young resembles that of a volcano, an bited in the poetry of Pope and Milton, is, earthquake, or a storm of thunder-that of that the former affects us rather as the writPope is like the flow of a broad and potent ten tranecript of well concocted thoughts ; river—too copious to be interrupted in its while the latter, bursting forth from the nacourse—too deep to be impetuous. And as tural, and immediate, and constantly operatit would be impossible to form any idea of ing force of an enlightened and vigorous mind, the general agency of such a river by ob-opens for itself—for us- - for the whole world serving any particular portion of its surface, and for ages yet to come, the gates of a so it would be unjust lo the character of paradise of thought, pours in an overwhelmPope, to attempt to convey an adequate idea ing flood of light, and diffuses through a reof his power as a poet, by any particular gion of unexplored sublimity, the loveliness selection from his writings. One instance, of nature and the harmony of truth. almost too well known to need repetition, In reading the poetry of Milton, we have will serve our purpose.
perpetual evidence of his inspiration-of the
fulness of the fountain of poetic seeing, whose * All are but parts of one stupendous whole, Whose body Nature is, and God the soul;
copious streams are rich in majesty, and That chang'd through all, and yet in all the same, beauty, and spiritual life; and we are satisGreat in the earth, as in the ethereal frame,
fied that the fountain could never have been Warms in the son, refreshes in the breeze, Glows in the stars, and blossoms in the trees,
sealed save by a hand divine. One tribuLives through all life, extends through all extent, tary and mighty spring was closed, but the Bpreads nndivided, operates unspent,
waters only became more pure and harmoBreathes in our soul, informs our mortal part, As full, as perfect, in a hair as heart;
nious, and derived from their divine original As full, as perfect, in vile man that mourns,
more seraphic sweetness-a grandeur As the rapt seraph that adores and burns;
more sublime. We feel that Milton could To him no high, no low, no great, no small; le fills, he bounds, connects, and equals all."
not but have written as he did. He was less
capable of subduing the impulse of his soul, As a proof that the exercise of power is than of finding a language suited to its not dependent upon the magnitude or sub- highest aspirations : and it is this unconlimity of the subject described, we will add trollable impulse operating in conjunction another passage from the same writer-a with the noblest faculties of human nature, singular paradox-an example of power ex- which constitutes his power. hibited in the description of a spider's web ! We cannot better illustrate the power of
Milton's muse, than by selecting from his "The spider's touch, how exquisitely fine! Feels at each thread, and lives along the line." works, passages descriptive of the two op
posite principles of good and evil. On the Here we have distinct ideas of the most character of Satan the poet has bestowed so delicate sensibility, the most acute percep much of the native energy of his genius, tion, and the wonderful expansion and dura- that we scarcely feel as we ought to, that it tion of the principle of life, in connection is the nature of evil to degrade and debase. with the frailest, and one of the least perceptible objects in nature, without in any “Forth with upright he rears from off the prol way interfering with our distinct ideas of that
His mighty stature; on each hand the flames,
Driven backward, slope their pointing spires, and, object; an evidence of mental power, well roll’d,
Still threatening to devour mo opens wide
We now change the subject, and see how the same genius can ascend from the lowest depths of hell, to the highest regions of purily and bliss, tuning his harp to strains that harmonize with both.
* No sooner had the Almighty ceased, but all
In billows, leave in the midst a horrid vale.
"he, above the rest
The other shape,
** I fled, and cried out, Death! Hell trembled at the hideous name, and sighed From all her caves, and back resounded, Death!"
_" Horror and doubt distract
“Immortal amaranth, a flower which once
In Paradise, fast by the tree of life,
"So spake the cherub; and his grave rebuke,
“ Hail, holy light, offspring of heaven first born,
Or of the Elernal co-eternal beam!